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  1. #1
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    Default 7 year old suffering insomnia - help please I'm at my wits end

    My 7 year old used to be a great sleeper, but one night a couple of months ago he couldn't fall asleep immediately, so every night since then he goes to bed worrying he won't get to sleep, & so of course he talks himself into it and he can't.

    He will cry out every 10 minutes or so distressed that he isn't asleep, this goes on for a good couple of hours.

    I wouldn't mind so much but it is affecting his ability to go to school (severe separation anxiety has kicked in and I am positive it's related to the night issues) the school has rang me on a couple of occasions as he ends up vomiting and they can't tell whether it's a bug or not as there have been quite a few tummy bugs doing the rounds already) he just isn't a happy little boy any more.

    He is an emotional wreck, which hurts me so much to see this change in him.

    does anyone have any ideas/suggestions/anything at all?

    i have tried sticker charts (he is too upset and worried at night for it to make any difference)
    have tried a Breuer spray product which doesn't seem to make any difference
    have tried dh putting him to bed (no difference)

    and it isnt a matter of him not being tired enough...he is literally exhausted.

    i am at my wits end. Considering making an appointment with my GP next week to discuss.

    thanks for reading

  2. #2
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    Poor guy he sounds like he has anxiety issues.
    Did something trigger the not being able to sleep? Maybe he isn't telling you?

    I hope the doctor can help you.
    I have a 7 year old daughter on anxiety meds, I know how horrible it can be.

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    ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your reply. He is an extremely sensitive child, he had separation anxiety for his entire kindergarten year. But did well in Prep & Year 1. Until now. He is also prone to getting stuck in ruts very quickly. One cry at school & he will remember it and that's it every day from there on in. One night of having trouble getting to sleep, & it stays with him. I am at the point where I want to run away.

    are the anxiety meds helping your daughter?

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    I think you should definitely make an appt with your GP and ask to have a mental health plan done. Anxiety often responds well to treatment with a psychologist.

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    Starfish30  (14-02-2014),ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

  7. #5
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    This may or may not be appropriate (or even possible) but if you are not working, can you keep him home from school for a day or two and just really focus on talking to him and trying to get to the root of where this is coming from? I think I would try this - I would just try to stay as calm and low key as possible, and just spend a day, just the two of you and talk. Listen to him and show him that you can see how sad he is and you want to understand what's making him so sad.

    I would try that first. Poor little fella, it must be breaking your heart to see him so miserable. You are the one who loves him most. All the best.

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    ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

  9. #6
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    My DS has always been a terrible sleeper and as he got older he started being afraid of the dark, up in the night turning lights on, even last night he came in twice having bad dreams.

    We bought a dimmer switch from ikea and I think a 5kw bulb and turn it right down. Some nights he will turn it off completely.

    We used bachs sleep rescue for a while and saw an improvement. Rather than continue it long term we started added evening primrose oil to his milk and started a probiotic (was always complaining of a sore belly but I'm not sure if it was a stalling tactic).

    I believe these have helped us, most nights he does sleep through, we have the odd night of "I can't sleep" but as he walks in the room grinning we figure it's an act.

    Hope some of that might help short term while you get further advice.

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    ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisIsLiving View Post
    Thanks for your reply. He is an extremely sensitive child, he had separation anxiety for his entire kindergarten year. But did well in Prep & Year 1. Until now. He is also prone to getting stuck in ruts very quickly. One cry at school & he will remember it and that's it every day from there on in. One night of having trouble getting to sleep, & it stays with him. I am at the point where I want to run away.

    are the anxiety meds helping your daughter?
    Yes they are. I wasn't quick to medicate, I agree with pp that psychologist visits could benefit for sure.
    My daughter was at a point she wasn't able to function happily in her daily life and was starting to take her frustrations out on her siblings.

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    ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

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    Is there definitely nothing that has triggered this from school? Like a friendship or teacher issue?
    I agree it does sound like anxiety. I remember going through a similar thing around the same age after we got broken into and I couldn't stop thinking about it. My Step daughter also went through this at age 7. We couldn't really pinpoint what it was but her mum had a lot of changes going on and that could have been it. We did guided meditation with her.
    Good luck, I hope things improve

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    ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

  15. #9
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    Ask your GP about melatonin , it may just help his mind to calm down and have a restful sleep. Also daily fish oil is good for their brains and how they function . Hope you can sort something out - it's not nice for anyone!

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    ThisIsLiving  (15-02-2014)

  17. #10
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    Melatonin will work getting him back into a sleep routine so would be helpful yes, but the throwing up at school and other things need more attention than just sleeping right

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